Digitization of Trademarks Registry in Nigeria

The Trademarks Registry, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment at Nigeria has recently begun digitization of its critical processes for improving and further enhancing trademark-related activities and tackling quacks in the sector. Adamu Yauri, the Registrar at Trademarks Registry, Commercial Law Department of the Ministry, disclosed this info in Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria, at a two-day training held for examiners in the trademarks registry.

In collaboration with the registry, the training, which is known to target 100 examiners, was organized by the International Trademarks Association (INTA). INTA is a global association of professionals and brand owners who support trademarks and related Intellectual Property (IP) dedicatedly for fostering economic growth, creativity, and consumer trust to a great extent.

The registry in Nigeria deals with the responsibility of Trademark Registration, administration, and protection. Yauri stated that tackling quacks in the trademark sector is indeed one of the most prime areas, which the minister is exceedingly passionate about, as a result of which, the registry has started complete digitization of its processes. After digitization, the registry shall successfully come out with a register of registered trademark agents. If your name is not there in the list of such agents, it implies that there is no legal proof corresponding to your educational qualifications and the details of your business, including email id and contact number, and you can’t do business with the registry anymore. The registry is also working on creating a website, where it shall efficiently list all the services that it renders along with the amount that a specific person is supposed to pay to ensure such things are well in-front of the public.

While speaking on the dire need for sensitization on all the trademark-related activities, Yauri said that Nigeria would celebrate World Intellectual Property Day on 26th April. He further said that a trademark is of the utmost importance as it gives the customers the right to choose and enables them to recognize the products in the market. Besides, the ministry has now decided to give due attention to all of its activities for streamlining the function of the registry in its activities.

The registrar went ahead by explaining that customers usually recognize a product in the market through branding, which, in turn, enables them to make a repeated purchase. He believes that if a particular brand is not well-protected, then it is most likely to be abused, copied, or infringed, and a third person would undoubtedly extract undue advantage of it as it wasn’t registered. He further noted that there are sanctions for infringers, and the Trademarks Act of Nigeria provides claims for damages in scenarios of Intellectual Property Infringement.